Plato; Aristotle; selections from Hellenistic Philosophy.

Is it possible to be sure that we are living a good human life, come what may? What would it be like to “succeed at” being a human being, at being ourselves? In the period under consideration in this course (c. 399 BCE–c. 529 CE), the nascent traditions of Greek logic, science, and ethics were turned to the exploration of such fundamental questions as these and spread across the Mediterranean world in the wake of Alexander the Great and the Roman Empire, laying the groundwork for the subsequent development of Western intellectual history. Over this term, we will study Aristotle, the great Hellenistic schools of ancient Athens (Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics) and the later ancient synthesis of Greek philosophy under the banner of Plato (Neoplatonism), and their influence on subsequent thought. Focus: Aristotle, Stoics, Epicureans, Skeptics, and Neoplatonists (4th century BCE-3rd century CE).

Prerequisites: None: Students with no prior knowledge of the subject are welcome.

Cross-Listed as PHIL 212A